Ranging from fourth, Energy reached Flip 1 on the skin of fellow second-row starter Pato O’Ward within the Arrow McLaren SP-Chevy, however from fifth, Josef Newgarden had leapt previous the pair of them, after which Colton Herta dived down the skin of them from ninth on the grid. The Andretti driver’s makes an attempt to remain on the asphalt prompted him to bump wheels with Energy, inflicting the Penske-Chevrolet’s right-front wheel to make slight contact with the left-rear of O’Ward into left-hand Flip 2. That despatched the AMSP automotive right into a 180-degree spin, and Energy needed to hit the brakes in an effort to slew across the stricken automotive.
That left the #12 Penske down in 11th on the finish of the primary lap, after which whereas he battled with rookie David Malukas on Lap 2, the pair had been despatched off the observe by an overambitious passing try by Helio Castroneves at Flip 7, dropping him to 16th.
So when the warning flew on Lap 3 for Dalton Kellett spinning, Energy – who like most of his rivals had began on Firestone’s tougher primaries – ducked into the pits to seize a set of alternates. Though this obliged him and one other early-stopper, O’Ward, to enter fuel-save mode to get again on-strategy with the opposite front-runners, they took up first and second locations, 5 seconds aside because the others pitted.
They dropped to 19th and 23rd after their second stops on Lap 30, however when Meyer Shank Racing’s Simon Pagenaud ran out of gas on observe 5 laps later and introduced out a full-course warning, nearly all of the sector pitted and Energy and O’Ward didn’t have to.
Energy cycled as much as fourth, and regardless of having to gas save, was in a position to go quick sufficient to take care of his place within the pack, which turned third when Herta retired.
Together with his seventh top-three end of the season, Energy reclaimed the championship lead, 9 factors forward of Marcus Ericsson.
“Contemplating the beginning of the race, nice restoration, man,” mentioned Energy. “It is wonderful a few of the runs we have had this yr. However yep, simply stored my head and did what I may within the state of affairs. I needed to get an enormous gas quantity and go as quick as I can.
“I needed to get an enormous gas quantity as a result of we pitted 5 laps earlier than everybody… Just about all the way in which to the tip we had been on a quantity that was positively holding us again. We had positively numerous tempo in hand.”
Requested what was the differentiator between his outcome and that of O’Ward (completed 12th) and Sato (completed 15th), each of whom had adopted the same technique, Energy put it all the way down to his Penske-Chevy, saying: “I believe it was our tempo on the gas mileage we needed to get. Undoubtedly we had been in a position to make some hay simply getting the large gas numbers that we needed to get. We had an amazing automotive. The automotive was actually quick.”
Teammates Scott McLaughlin and Josef Newgarden completed fourth and fifth, and the latter has consolidated his third place within the championship, pulling away from Scott Dixon, gaining on Marcus Ericsson and now sitting 32 factors behind Energy.